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One of the more positive statistics that I read recently declared that pregnancies are up by 11% on this time last year, and I am delighted to tell you that the parish church is open for the business of baptisms at last. So if you have been waiting patiently for this  during lockdown, please form an orderly queue (as we are so used to having to do)…but seriously, do give me a call on 01890 820240 or email me so we can talk about how to celebrate the gift of new life.

The other good news is that we are now able to serve coffee on Sunday mornings and maybe also after the weekday service on Wednesdays, to take into the churchyard to drink, but given the lovely weather we are currently enjoying, that’s no hardship.

Last Sunday, it being the Fifth Sunday in the month, all three parishes of Ford and Etal, Lowick with Kyloe and Ancroft all gathered at the mutually convenient time of 10am in St Anne’s Church in Ancroft for a joint parishes service. We are calling this a ‘FLAKE’ service (anagram of all the parish names) and as this was the first of these on Sunday, everyone was given a Flake bar to enjoy with their coffee. So do please consider joining us for the next of these at Ford church on August 29th, and whenever there is a fifth Sunday in the month. It will be Lowick’s turn in October, so plenty of warning. You may even get a Flake bar…

We are inviting guest preachers to these services and listened on Sunday to the Archdeacon of Lindisfarne unpack the story of Nicodemus, who came by night to see Jesus, He went on to play a significant part in the gospel story later on, which had he not done so, might have changed the whole face of human history. Intrigued? Then do come along to the Lowick service when the Dean of Newcastle, the Very Revd Geoff Miller will be our preacher, and well worth hearing he is too.

In August my husband Canon Leo Osborn will be the preacher at the service in Ford Church – he’s not a bad preacher either!

The churchyard was a hive of activity last Saturday morning when a bit of a tidy up was undertaken by the PCC, hugely helped by Hughie and Michael Leyland who with their JCB and eco-composter shifted 2.2 metric tonnes of foliage etc that had accumulated around the walls. Gravestones were cleaned, ivy removed and wayward branches were pruned before we were rewarded by a bbq from Darren and delicious traybakes and coffee prepared by ladies from the church. And all in the warm June sunshine. Please do come and use this newly tidied space as a place of peace and contemplation.

We are very hopeful that by the August Bank Holiday we may be able to organise a version of Beating the Bounds, walking through the harvest fields and pausing to thank God for the harvest as well as for the promise of cake so I’m told, every hour! More details later as we plan but do save the date now in anticipation.

I am currently preparing one young person for confirmation and it’s not too late to join a session if you have been thinking about this during lockdown. The confirmation service will take place in St Cuthbert’s Norham on Sunday July 18th at 4pm. Again, please get in touch with me if you are thinking about this.

Meanwhile, let’s be thankful for the blessing that sunshine is and the opportunity to see friends and family again and talk long into the night on these light evenings about the lessons we have learned this past year, encouraging one another to a simpler, perhaps slower life and an increased awareness of a heavenly dimension to life, and the unconditional, unchanging love of God whose light puts most things into perspective.


With my love and prayers,


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